The Las Vegas Raiders decided to revamp their offensive line this offseason and the results have not been great. Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good were supposed to be the starting guards but both have played less than a combined one game due to injury. Second-year guard John Simpson could have a bright future but he wasn’t supposed to be a starter this season. Neither was Alex Leatherwood, who was drafted to be the starting right tackle.
When the offseason arrives, the Raiders are going to need to rethink the offensive line. Incognito is set to miss the majority of two straight seasons. At 38-years-old, there’s no reason to be hopeful that he has another full season left in the tank. Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report believes that Incognito should retire when the season ends:
The Raiders have continuously pushed back Incognito’s possible return date. Now, the 38-year-old isn’t expected back until December at the earliest.
Since signing with the Raiders in 2019, Incognito has played in 14 games and missed 27 outings. Because of injuries and slow recovery, he probably should retire at the end of the 2021 term.
Incognito has been a great teammate for the Raiders and has been an elite guard when he’s on the field. However, he’s missed multiple games each of the three seasons he’s been with the team. This could very well be his last season in the NFL.
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Incognito Suffers Setback
Throughout the season, the Raiders have held out hope that Incognito would return. Simpson hasn’t been terrible but there’s no doubt that the veteran is an upgrade. He’s also a team captain and would’ve been the definitive leader of a young offensive line. Unfortunately, it’s looking less and less likely that he’ll play this season.
Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia revealed on Monday that Incognito has suffered a “setback” in his rehab for a calf injury he suffered in training camp. That’s not good news as it didn’t look like he was set to come back anytime soon. There’s still time for him to return to the field but things aren’t looking good.
Raiders Needs to Address OL in Offseason
There have been times when the Raiders’ young offensive line has shown flashes of being a capable unit. They just haven’t been consistent at all. This offseason, the team needs to reevaluate the offensive line. The only position that is truly solved is left tackle with Kolton Miller continuing to be a strong presence. Center Andre James has made strides in recent weeks so he could keep the job going forward.
Leatherwood was a first-round pick so the Raiders will find a spot on the offensive line for him. He’s played much better at right guard so that could be his spot going forward. If so, the team needs to find another new right tackle this offseason. Brandon Parker simply isn’t consistent enough to have earned the position full-time. When the draft rolls around, expect the Raiders to heavily address the offensive line.